Muhammad bin Nayif
The early news out of Saudi Arabia is that Muhammad bin Nayif, the Deputy Interior Minister, escaped an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber with only light injuries. It is unclear yet who is responsible, but I have my suspects. Last week in a talk I argued that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was looking to carry out an attack either in Saudi Arabia or one of the other Gulf states as a way of squaring their action with their rhetoric (more on this later, as the article is only half finished). Both myself and others suggested that Ramadan could be a particular dangerous time given the history of the organization.
It is a bit premature to lay this at the feet of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wahayshi, Said al-Shihri and Qasim al-Raymi but all early signs point to this being the feared (or at least one of the feared) attacks. The forums are already abuzz with the news as well as with video of al-Arabiyya showing Muhammad meeting with King Abdullah.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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